For families that are fairly new to the idea of Quaker schools, learning about the educational philosophy can be enlightening but also a bit confusing. One of the most common questions people ask is, “do you have to be a Quaker to go to a Quaker school?”

The short answer: No. Students do not have to be Quakers in order to attend a Quaker school. In fact, the vast majority of students and teachers at Friends schools are not Quakers.

Quakerism has much in common with many different faith traditions, and as such, people of all backgrounds are able to find ways to connect with Quakerism and Quaker pedagogy. Those who attend or work in a Friends school find themselves engaging in the values and belief systems, not the religion.

In fact, part of what makes Friends schools so dynamic is the diversity of backgrounds and views that students and teachers hold. The Phoenix Friends School culture upholds an environment where all viewpoints are welcome, and the new perspectives that are brought to discussions are valued.

For parents that are weighing the pros and cons of Quaker school, or any school for that matter, it is especially important to understand the needs of their own family. For instance, most parents want their children to have an exceptional learning education, but more often than not, they also want their kids to be healthy, happy, and engaged with the world around them. While many schools offer great academics, truly special schools are able to achieve both of these outcomes.

A strong Quaker education, like the one offered at Phoenix Friends School, embodies an ongoing search for truth and shows students how their learning connects to the world around them. For those families that value academics as well as social and emotional growth, a Quaker education can be the vehicle that allows them to cultivate a lifelong love of learning in their children.

Andy Jones-Wilkins
Head of School

Leave a Comment